190913 earthquake
Image Credit: Phivolcs

Manila: An earthquake sent occupants of high-rise buildings scampering for safety as it struck parts of the northern main island of Luzon on Friday.

The 5.5 magnitude earthquake, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), hit at 4.28pm on a Friday and was felt at intensity 4 in Quezon City and other parts of Metro Manila, as well as Jose Panganiban in Camarines Norte, Bicol region as well as in Guinyangan in the province of Quezon where intensity 3 was recorded.

Phivolcs said the epicentre of the earthquake was located in Polilio Islands in Quezon.

Residents of tall buildings including the Philippine Red Cross headquarters in Mandaluyong City and similar structures in Quezon City and Makati were evacuated.

“The earthquake had a depth of 10 kilometres and was of tectonic in origin (water),” Phivolcs said.

Aside from Quezon City the earthquake was also felt at magnitude 4 in the highland resort city of Tagaytay which is located more than 50km from Manila.

The quake was also felt in Laguna, Pasig, Cavite, Marikina, Malabon, Bulacan, Rizal and Pampanga.

“We expect damages and aftershocks from this event,” Phivolcs said.

The Phivolcs did not mention if they expect the latest earth movement to generate a tsunami although the event took place close to Luzon’s eastern cost facing the Pacific.

The social media sites had been abuzz with grim comments on the occurrence of the event on Friday the 13th which the superstitious regard with apprehension.

The earthquake took place months after a powerful 6.1 magnitude quake rocked the Central Luzon Region and Metro Manila.

A total 18 people died and 256 were injured in that quake. Most of the fatalities and other casualties were due to the collapse of the roof of a supermarket.